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Charl Schwartzel wins first LIV event, $4 million first prize

Sportsnaut
May 20, 2022; Tulsa, OK, USA; Charl Schwartzel plays his shot from the 11th tee during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Southern Hills Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Charl Schwartzel shot a final-round 72 to hold on to win the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series title and the $4 million first prize at Centurion Club in London on Saturday.

It was a wire-to-wire win for Schwartzel, who finished at 7-under 203 in the 54-hole tournament to top fellow South African Hennie du Plessis by a stroke. For Schwartzel, it was the first win on either the PGA or European Tour since 2016.

A double bogey on the par-4 No. 12 hole by Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, made things interesting but du Plessis couldn’t overtake him.

Schwartzel, 37, took home $4.75 million overall by also being on the winning group in the team competition.

Among the Americans in the field, Dustin Johnson finished in eighth place at 1-under par. Phil Mickelson tied for 33rd place at 10 over.

The controversial LIV series lured players with the promises of big money, and the first paychecks didn’t disappoint. du Plessis will take home $2.125 million. Branden Grace and Peter Uihlein tied for third, with each winning $1.5 million, and fifth-place finisher Sam Horsfield pocketed $975,000.

For their efforts, Johnson earned $625,000 and Mickelson $150,000.

du Plessis, 25, entered the weekend with about $415,000 in career earnings in 32 tournments on the European Tour.

The LIV series also includes a four-member team component, and Schwartzel and du Plessis — along with Grace and Louis Oosthuizen — won that event, sharing $3 million. That’s an additional $750,000 tacked on to their individual earnings.

Also Saturday, the series announced the signing of 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed, who has nine PGA Tour titles and nearly $37 million in career earnings.

The next event is set for June 30 to July 2 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club near Portland, Ore. The inaugural season of the series has eight events in all, with the other six planned to be held in Bedminster, N.J., Bolton, Mass., Sugar Grove, Ill., Bangkok, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Miami.

–Field Level Media